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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. Brewers series preview

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An early June series with meaning. Get ready for some intense baseball this week!

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Cubs and Brewers haven’t met since April, so I asked Kyle Lesniewski, manager of our SB Nation Brewers site Brew Crew Ball, to update us on his team.

Things didn’t go very well for the Brewers the last time these teams met, as I’m sure you all will recall. The Brewers were swept in four closely contested games. After that, the Brewers went on to win 19 games during the best month of May in team history. They hit a little bit of a rough patch to start June but bounced back by taking two of three games on the road against Philadelphia and will begin the week with a half-game lead over the Cubs.

The offense started the year slow but looked stronger in the last month, and the club will welcome back Eric Thames — who has been missing since late April — from the disabled list. He had 7 home runs and a 152 wRC+ before tearing a ligament in his thumb, and went 6-for-12 with a home run and a walk during his rehab stint with Colorado Springs. Milwaukee’s bullpen has been one of the league’s best - Sunday’s hiccup by Dan Jennings notwithstanding - and both Josh Hader and Corey Knebel will be well-rested for this series.

The Brewers will send their two best starters to the mound in this series in Junior Guerra (70 ERA-, 91 FIP-) and Jhoulys Chacin (88 ERA-, 97 FIP-) and sandwich last year’s ace Chase Anderson (who has struggled to a 112 ERA-/141 FIP- this year) in between while looking to improve on their 1-7 record against the Cubs this season.

If you are not familiar with ERA- and FIP-, a good explanation can be found at this Fangraphs page.

Fun fact

Since the beginning of 2017, the Cubs have won 11 of the 15 games they have played in Miller Park.

Pitching matchups

Monday: Jose Quintana, LHP (6-4, 4.20 ERA, 1.368 WHIP, 4.08 FIP) vs. Junior Guerra, RHP (3-4, 2.83 ERA, 1.144 WHIP, 3.73 FIP)

Tuesday: Tyler Chatwood, RHP (3-4, 4.29 ERA, 1.783 WHIP, 4.98 FIP) vs. Chase Anderson, RHP (4-5, 4.57 ERA, 1.246 WHIP, 5.81 FIP)

Wednesday: Mike Montgomery, LHP (2-1, 3.56 ERA, 1.163 WHIP, 3.82 FIP) vs. Jhoulys Chacin, RHP (5-1, 3.58 ERA, 1.248 WHIP, 3.97 FIP)

Times & TV channels

Monday: 7:10 p.m. CT, NBC Sports Chicago Plus, MLB Network (outside Chicago and Milwaukee markets)

Tuesday: 7:10 p.m. CT, NBC Sports Chicago

Wednesday: 1:10 p.m. CT, WGN

Prediction

On May 28, the Brewers took a 4½-game lead in the N.L. Central with a win over the Cardinals. Since then they are 4-6 and the Cubs are 9-3. The Cubs seem to have the Brewers’ number this year and so they’ll take two of three.

Up next

After an off day Thursday, the Cubs head to St. Louis for a three-game series against the Cardinals beginning Friday evening.

Poll

How many games will the Cubs win against the Brewers?

This poll is closed

  • 16%
    3
    (55 votes)
  • 58%
    2
    (202 votes)
  • 20%
    1
    (70 votes)
  • 4%
    0
    (16 votes)
343 votes total Vote Now